Convos can be configured with either a config file or environment variables.

Any of the settings below can be specified either in a configuration file or as environment variables. Here is an example on how to specify environment variables:

You might want to check out the FAQ for example configurations as well.

$ CONVOS_INVITE_CODE=s3cret ./script/convos daemon

One way of setting a bunch of environment variables is by putting them all in a shell script:

export CONVOS_CONTACT=[email protected]
export CONVOS_HOME=/var/convos
export CONVOS_INVITE_CODE=s3cret
export MOJO_LOG_LEVEL=debug

exec /home/www/convos-stable/script/convos \
  daemon --listen http://*:8000            \
  1>>/home/www/log/convos.log              \

Instead of using environment variables, you can specify configuration settings in a JSON config file. Note that all the settings below are optional, just like the environment variables.

$ /home/www/convos-stable/script/convos /path/to/convos.conf.json \
    --listen http://*:8000

$ cat /path/to/convos.conf.json
  "backend":           "Convos::Core::Backend::File",
  "contact":           "mailto:[email protected]",
  "default_server":    "localhost:6667",
  "log_file":          "/var/log/convos.log",
  "forced_irc_server": "localhost:6667",
  "invite_code":       "s3cret",
  "organization_name": "Awesome hackers",
  "plugins":           {},
  "secure_cookies":    0,
  "secrets":           ["signed-cookie-secret"]

Note: A config file can also be a plain Perl hash. If you want to use the perl format instead of JSON, then just drop the “.json” suffix on the file.


You can make convos listen to a variety of addresses:

# Listen on all IPv4 interfaces
$ ./script/convos daemon --listen http://*:8080

# Listen on all IPv4 and IPv6 interfaces
$ ./script/convos daemon --listen "http://[::]:8000"

# Listen on a specific IPv4 and IPv6 interface
$ ./script/convos daemon \
  --listen "" \
  --listen "http://[::1]:8080"

# Listen on HTTPS with a default untrusted certificate
$ ./script/convos daemon --listen https://*:4000

# Use a custom certificate and key
$ ./script/convos daemon --listen \

# Make convos available behind a reverse proxy
$ MOJO_REVERSE_PROXY=1 ./script/convos daemon \

See MOJO_REVERSE_PROXY for more details about setting up Convos behind a reverse proxy.

Configuration parameters


Can be set to any class name that inherit from Convos::Core::Backend.

Default: Convos::Core::Backend::File


This variable decides how many seconds to wait between each user to connect to a chat server. The reason for this setting is that some servers will set a permanent ban if you “flood connect”.

Default: 3


Used when rendering “Contact” links in the frontend.

Default: mailto:[email protected]


Setting this variable to a true value will print extra debug information to STDERR. Another useful debug variable is MOJO_IRC_DEBUG which gives you IRC level debug information.


Used to declare which server should be pre-filled when a user creates a new connection.

Default: irc://


Will force any connection made to use the “CONVOS_DEFAULT_CONNECTION”.

There is no forced IRC server by default.


This variable is used by Convos::Core::Backend::File to figure out where to store settings and log files.

Default: $HOME/.local/share/convos/


Anyone who wishes to register as a user will have to use the value of this setting to create an account. It can be disabled by setting CONVOS_INVITE_CODE="". Check out the running guide for more details.

The default value is a semi-random string.


This value can be used to specify where Convos should write the log messages to. This settings has no default value which makes Convos write the log to STDERR.


Should be set to the name of the organization running this instance of Convos.

Default: Nordaaker


This variable will change the URL to the organization running this instance of Convos.



A list (comma separated) of perl modules that can be loaded into the backend for optional functionality.

There are currently no plugins loaded by default.


Should be set to a comma-separated list of random strings. These values will be used to secure the Cookies written to the client.

The default value is a semi-random secret.


Should be set to true if Convos is served over HTTPS.


Can hold the path to a config file, which is read by Convos instead of using the environment variables. See also the running guide for more details.


Can be used to set the address Convos will listen to from an environment variable.




The MOJO_REVERSE_PROXY environment variable can be used to enable proxy support, this allows Mojolicious to automatically pick up the X-Forwarded-For and X-Forwarded-Proto HTTP headers.

Note that setting this environment variable without a reverse proxy in front will be a security issue.

The FAQ has more details on how to set up Convos behind a reverse proxy server.